ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A ninth body has been recovered off a southern Greek island where a yacht carrying nearly 100 migrants sank in a gale last week, the coast guard said Tuesday. Another six people are still believed missing.
A coast guard statement said the body of a woman was located Tuesday near the wreck site on Kythira. Another two women and six men have been found dead since the Oct. 5 sinking.
The overcrowded yacht had left Turkey on Oct. 3, and was headed through Greek waters for Italy when it veered off course, hit rocks just offshore in the dark and sank. Rescuers and residents saved 80 people, who were dragged up a cliff on ropes or in improvised slings, but survivors reported that about 15 were missing. Days of strong winds hampered the search for them.
Among the missing is an Egyptian man suspected of having skippered the yacht. One survivor, a Syrian man, has been charged with also belonging to the migrant-smuggling ring that arranged the passage, for which migrants paid 9,000-10,000 euros each.
Hours after the Kythira wreck, a smaller migrant boat that had also left from Turkey sank off the eastern Aegean Sea island of Lesbos, killing 18 of its occupants.
In another case, the Greek coast guard said Tuesday that it arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of having just landed six migrants on the eastern island of Samos. The suspect was detained Monday as he headed back to Turkish waters, following a chase in which the coast guard fired warning gunshots. The migrants were found on land and detained.
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